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Wasternack, C.; Song, S.; Jasmonates: biosynthesis, metabolism, and signaling by proteins activating and repressing transciption J. Exp. Bot. 68, 1303-1321, (2017) DOI: 10.1093/jxb/erw443

The lipid-derived phytohormone jasmonate (JA) regulates plant growth, development, secondary metabolism, defense against insect attack and pathogen infection, and tolerance to abiotic stresses such as wounding, UV light, salt, and drought. JA was first identified in 1962, and since the 1980s many studies have analyzed the physiological functions, biosynthesis, distribution, metabolism, perception, signaling, and crosstalk of JA, greatly expanding our knowledge of the hormone’s action. In response to fluctuating environmental cues and transient endogenous signals, the occurrence of multilayered organization of biosynthesis and inactivation of JA, and activation and repression of the COI1–JAZ-based perception and signaling contributes to the fine-tuning of JA responses. This review describes the JA biosynthetic enzymes in terms of gene families, enzymatic activity, location and regulation, substrate specificity and products, the metabolic pathways in converting JA to activate or inactivate compounds, JA signaling in perception, and the co-existence of signaling activators and repressors.

Stenzel, I.; Otto, M.; Delker, C.; Kirmse, N.; Schmidt, D.; Miersch, O.; Hause, B.; Wasternack, C.; ALLENE OXIDE CYCLASE (AOC) gene family members of Arabidopsis thaliana: tissue- and organ-specific promoter activities and in vivo heteromerization J. Exp. Bot. 63, 6125-6138, (2012) DOI: 10.1093/jxb/ers261

Jasmonates are important signals in plant stress responses and plant development. An essential step in the biosynthesis of jasmonic acid (JA) is catalysed by ALLENE OXIDE CYCLASE (AOC) which establishes the naturally occurring enantiomeric structure of jasmonates. In Arabidopsis thaliana, four genes encode four functional AOC polypeptides (AOC1, AOC2, AOC3, and AOC4) raising the question of functional redundancy or diversification. Analysis of transcript accumulation revealed an organ-specific expression pattern, whereas detailed inspection of transgenic lines expressing the GUS reporter gene under the control of individual AOC promoters showed partially redundant promoter activities during development: (i) In fully developed leaves, promoter activities of AOC1, AOC2, and AOC3 appeared throughout all leaf tissue, but AOC4 promoter activity was vascular bundle-specific; (ii) only AOC3 and AOC4 showed promoter activities in roots; and (iii) partially specific promoter activities were found for AOC1 and AOC4 in flower development. In situ hybridization of flower stalks confirmed the GUS activity data. Characterization of single and double AOC loss-of-function mutants further corroborates the hypothesis of functional redundancies among individual AOCs due to a lack of phenotypes indicative of JA deficiency (e.g. male sterility). To elucidate whether redundant AOC expression might contribute to regulation on AOC activity level, protein interaction studies using bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC) were performed and showed that all AOCs can interact among each other. The data suggest a putative regulatory mechanism of temporal and spatial fine-tuning in JA formation by differential expression and via possible heteromerization of the four AOCs.

Wasternack, C.; Hause, B.; Emerging complexity: jasmonate-induced volatiles affect parasitoid choice J. Exp. Bot. 60, 2451-2453, (2009) DOI: 10.1093/jxb/erp197


Kienow, L.; Schneider, K.; Bartsch, M.; Stuible, H.-P.; Weng, H.; Miersch, O.; Wasternack, C.; Kombrink, E.; Jasmonates meet fatty acids: functional analysis of a new acyl-coenzyme A synthetase family from Arabidopsis thaliana J. Exp. Bot. 59, 403-419, (2008) DOI: 10.1093/jxb/erm325

Arabidopsis thaliana contains a large number of genes encoding carboxylic acid-activating enzymes, including long-chain fatty acyl-CoA synthetase (LACS), 4-coumarate:CoA ligases (4CL), and proteins closely related to 4CLs with unknown activities. The function of these 4CL-like proteins was systematically explored by applying an extensive substrate screen, and it was uncovered that activation of fatty acids is the common feature of all active members of this protein family, thereby defining a new group of fatty acyl-CoA synthetase, which is distinct from the known LACS family. Significantly, four family members also displayed activity towards different biosynthetic precursors of jasmonic acid (JA), including 12-oxo-phytodienoic acid (OPDA), dinor-OPDA, 3-oxo-2(2′-[Z]-pentenyl)cyclopentane-1-octanoic acid (OPC-8), and OPC-6. Detailed analysis of in vitro properties uncovered significant differences in substrate specificity for individual enzymes, but only one protein (At1g20510) showed OPC-8:CoA ligase activity. Its in vivo function was analysed by transcript and jasmonate profiling of Arabidopsis insertion mutants for the gene. OPC-8:CoA ligase expression was activated in response to wounding or infection in the wild type but was undetectable in the mutants, which also exhibited OPC-8 accumulation and reduced levels of JA. In addition, the developmental, tissue- and cell-type specific expression pattern of the gene, and regulatory properties of its promoter were monitored by analysing promoter::GUS reporter lines. Collectively, the results demonstrate that OPC-8:CoA ligase catalyses an essential step in JA biosynthesis by initiating the β-oxidative chain shortening of the carboxylic acid side chain of its precursors, and, in accordance with this function, the protein is localized in peroxisomes.

ten Hoopen, P.; Hunger, A.; Muller, A.; Hause, B.; Kramell, R.; Wasternack, C.; Rosahl, S.; Conrad, U.; Immunomodulation of jasmonate to manipulate the wound response J. Exp. Bot. 58, 2525-2535, (2007) DOI: 10.1093/jxb/erm122

Jasmonates are signals in plant stress responses and development. The exact mode of their action is still controversial. To modulate jasmonate levels intracellularly as well as compartment-specifically, transgenic Nicotiana tabacum plants expressing single-chain antibodies selected against the naturally occurring (3R,7R)-enantiomer of jasmonic acid (JA) were created in the cytosol and the endoplasmic reticulum. Consequently, the expression of anti-JA antibodies in planta caused JA-deficient phenotypes such as insensitivity of germinating transgenic seedlings towards methyl jasmonate and the loss of wound-induced gene expression. Results presented here suggest an essential role for cytosolic JA in the wound response of tobacco plants. The findings support the view that substrate availability takes part in regulating JA biosynthesis upon wounding. Moreover, high JA levels observed in immunomodulated plants in response to wounding suggest that tobacco plants are able to perceive a reduced level of physiologically active JA and attempt to compensate for this by increased JA accumulation.

Hause, B.; Feussner, K.; Wasternack, C.; Nuclear Location of a Diadenosine 5′,5′”-P1,P4Tetraphosphate (Ap4A) Hydrolase in Tomato Cells Grown in Suspension Cultures Bot. Acta 110, 452-457, (1997) DOI: 10.1111/j.1438-8677.1997.tb00662.x

Diadenosine 5′,5′”‐P1,P4‐tetraphosphate (Ap4A) cleaving enzymes are assumed to regulate intracellular levels of Ap4A, a compound known to affect cell proliferation and stress responses. From plants an Ap4A hydrolase was recently purified using tomato cells grown in suspension. It was partially sequenced and a peptide antibody was prepared (Feussner et al., 1996). Using this polyclonal monospecific antibody, an abundant nuclear location of Ap4A hydrolase in 4‐day‐old cells of atomato cell suspension culture is demonstrated here by means of immunocytochemical techniques using FITC (fluorescein‐5‐isothiocyanate) labeled secondary antibodies. The microscopic analysis of the occurrence of Ap4A hydrolase performed for different stages of the cell cycle visualized by parallel DAPI (4,6‐diamidino‐2‐phenylindole) staining revealed that the protein accumulates within nuclei of cells in the interphase, but is absent in the nucleus as well as cytoplasm during all stages of mitosis. This first intracellular localization of an Ap4A degrading enzyme within the nucleus and its pattern of appearance during the cell cycle is discussed in relation to the suggested role of Ap4A in triggering DNA synthesis and cell proliferation.

Feussner, I.; Fritz, I. G.; Hause, B.; Ullrich, W. R.; Wasternack, C.; Induction of a new Lipoxygenase Form in Cucumber Leaves by Salicylic Acid or 2,6-Dichloroisonicotinic Acid Bot. Acta 110, 101-108, (1997) DOI: 10.1111/j.1438-8677.1997.tb00616.x

Changes in lipoxygenase (LOX) protein pattern and/or activity were investigated in relation to acquired resistance of cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) leaves against two powdery mildews, Sphaerotheca fuliginea (Schlecht) Salmon and Erysiphe cichoracearum DC et Merat. Acquired resistance was established by spraying leaves with salicylic acid (SA) or 2,6‐dichloroisonicotinic acid (INA) and estimated in whole plants by infested leaf area compared to control plants. SA was more effective than INA. According to Western blots, untreated cucumber leaves contained a 97 kDa LOX form, which remained unchanged for up to 48 h after pathogen inoculation. Upon treatment with SA alone for 24 h or with INA plus pathogen, an additional 95 kDa LOX form appeared which had an isoelectric point in the alkaline range. For the induction of this form, a threshold concentration of 1 mM SA was required, higher SA concentrations did not change LOX‐95 expression which remained similar between 24 h and 96 h but further increased upon mildew inoculation. Phloem exudates contained only the LOX‐97 form, in intercellular washing fluid no LOX was detected. dichloroisonicotinic localization revealed LOX protein in the cytosol of the mesophyll cells without differences between the forms.
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